Image Comics Direct Market

Slide from Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates; discussion below.

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image-direct-market

This slide is part of my post entitled
Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates where I have collected quotes and graphics related to the discussion of relative newsstand rarity over the years, compared to direct edition copies. In this slide, I am discussing a quote from the book Economics of Digital Comics by Todd Allen and Mark Waid:

“Unfortunately, accurate statistics are not available for the launch of Image Comics, a publisher made up of popular artists who broke away from Marvel to start their own company. It is believed that the first issues of several of their titles sold in the general area of 700,000 to one million copies, and these books were exclusive to the direct market.”

— Todd Allen, Economics of Digital Comics

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote is that Image Comics did not, in fact, sell comics exclusively through the direct market as the quote suggests. As shown in another slide, another industry participant estimated 1% of their comics to have been sold on newsstands… And as I showed on another slide with 10 examples of Image newsstand comics that show up on the CGC census as variants, about 2-3% are showing up as newsstand editions versus 97-98% direct edition. This is such a low percentage as to be nearly “invisible” and so it is completely understandable that others in the industry would reach the conclusion that Image was exclusively making direct edition sales — because actually finding any of their newsstand comics out there is very difficult, as they are buried under a mountain of direct editions.

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